Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Buy now: spend the recession inside!

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  • Jeremy Eade,

    Thank you Craig for such a reasoned response. It was kind of bugging me that I may have upset you again.But what is the answer to Keiths question?

    "How many cases like that of Ye Guozhu, sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment for his opposition to forced evictions ..and subsequently tortured while in detention, would it take for him to reconsider the April signing of a preferential trade agreement with China?"

    or How many people will be tortured until Mike Cullen decides to stop it?

    It’s a nasty question that suggests Cullen is comfortable with china killing it’s citizens and can't stop it and it doesn't have a rational answer apart from none..

    Cullens a hardworking bastard who should probably sleep more and he loses it. Does he lie? I don't know. If he did that's poor, but he lost his temper, it doesn't make him irrational. The content of his speech makes him irrational.

    I think you have to concede that the question was inflammetry and its a question no one seems to be providing an answer to. The correct answer would be none but trade being what it is , the thing we do with relaxed ethics so we can eat seems to over rule everything.

    do we need this trade? what do you think?

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • merrica,

    no torrent of abuse, just a message from a 7 year NZ expat who keeps reading your blog, because I enjoy it, and it is informative. I haven't always agreed with everything you've said (or perhaps that should be, I don't always understand everything you've said - when you get all techy), but I have always appreciated your writing

    Don't let it go to your head now... :p

    NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Thank you Craig for such a reasoned response. It was kind of bugging me that I may have upset you again.But what is the answer to Keiths question?

    The honest answer, the perfect expression of realpolitik in action, is this: How many have you got? Just as I don't think Cullen really does care enough about queers being tortured, mutilated and publicly executed in Saudi Arabia and Iran that he'd risk our substantial exports to those nations. And why should he: IMO this election is going to be won or lost

    That's brutal, but at least it has the benefit of candour.

    I think you have to concede that the question was inflammatory ...

    Perhaps, but I'd get all red and itchy if someone called me a cheerleader for mass murder. I just don't know why the hell Cullen -- or Phil Goff on Close Up last night -- had to go there when they were doing a pretty good job of putting the counter-argument.

    Oh. wait a mo' - I think I can guess a motivation. Sure did a damn good job of changing the subject -- because the headline on Checkpoint tonight wasn't 'Government under attack over China FTA' but 'Cullen unloads on Locke'. But I don't really see the political or strategic sense in a needless and inflammatory pissing match with the Greens.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Feh...

    To complete me sentences:

    And why should he: IMO this election is going to be won or lost in the hip pockets not the heart and mind.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    __curmudgeon__

    Bah, as Dogbert would say. I put that in the same category as 'gadfly' - a nonsense word that at once trivialises and licences the bitter narcissism of ageing male baby boomers.

    Burn!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    Well naturally I didn't mean you. I don't notice any bitterness or more than normal narcissism... and my hair's in retreat. It had more to do with a certain Dompost columnist. Could you untie me from the stake now?

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Could you untie me from the stake now?

    Mmmmm... stake. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    But hating on China itself sometimes seems to me to be the acceptable face of xenophobia

    Love the Chinese, hate their government.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Also, if I was going to post from the wider shores of the extreme left:

    - the Cultural Revolutionaries were jailing, killing, torturing and enslaving people because they honestly believed it was the only way to create a "better" society.

    - the present Chinese regime is jailing, killing, torturing and enslaving people in order to maintain their state capitalist regime in power. So they can make $5,000 televisions for rich people in upmarket suburbs.

    Obviously, the latter is much more laudable.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    He’s a very talented debater and a man whose intellect we should celebrate, not demonise.

    Something that will no doubt reassure the people of Tibet, who'd like governments around the world to at least debate the issue of "what should we do, if anything, about Tibet?", rather than deflect it by cutesy personal slurs.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    This is our central chamber of free speech.It's not inconceivable that Keith may have held that position once, a lot of people did.
    once.

    Dr Cullen did(later on) actually produce an article that backed his comment ( re Pol Pot).Keith Locke had supported the new regime. Admittedly it was written in 1975, but it was written by Keith Locke.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Dr Cullen did(later on) actually produce an article that backed his comment ( re Pol Pot).Keith Locke had supported the new regime. Admittedly it was written in 1975, but it was written by Keith Locke.

    Lots of people, including other governments, initially saw the new Cambodian government as an improvement on the old, corrupt one. But Locke never wrote anything in support of Pol Pot.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • Bingle Struthers,

    Yes, so he came across harsh, but Cullen has an important point. The ideological left were mistaken to support Mao's regime, and they and the western media may again be in murky territory in trying to subvert the west's economic dealings with China.

    Sure, China's government are brutal, but so are many others. Isn't it more likely that our government can positively influence China's internal politics, over time, if we are involved in positive kinds of collaborations like trade agreements? People who do business with Chinese say there is a lot of relationship building that has to happen first, a lot of that traditional kind of protocol. These nations won't just be told what to do by tut-tutting white people.

    Mosgiel • Since Mar 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Dr Cullen did(later on) actually produce an article that backed his comment ( re Pol Pot).Keith Locke had supported the new regime. Admittedly it was written in 1975, but it was written by Keith Locke.

    Shoot, I hope that if I ever lose my mind and run for parliament that no-one digs up the expository essay I wrote in 6th form (1987)denying the right of the worker to withdraw their labour in order to get a better deal.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Isn't it more likely that our government can positively influence China's internal politics, over time, if we are involved in positive kinds of collaborations like trade agreements?

    The reality is we don't know very well what will move China to respecting human rights. In theory positive engagement will work, but it might just drag things out and enable the current system to struggle on for another 50 years before it has real reforms.

    I always like the answer that the West Wing put forward on this subject, where the guy says that international trade will move China towards a free democracy, and then admits that he should add onto the end of it "we think". And that there's a fair chance that the answer is bullshit, but that we might as well sell them some hamburgers since we don't have the answer anyway.

    Maybe Keith Locke and other people who argue for disengagement from China are wrong. At least they're arguing from strong principles, rather than "China is too big a country and too important in economic trade for us to boycott them", which seems to be what a lot of other people are saying.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Isn't it more likely that our government can positively influence China's internal politics, over time, if we are involved in positive kinds of collaborations like trade agreements?

    That is a perennial argument which I recall being used with equal justification about South Africa.

    These nations won't just be told what to do by tut-tutting white people.

    Those stubborn Boers won't just be told what to do by tut-tutting English speakers.

    Actually, that argument does bear some thought, and you might even be right, but it's one that we have collectively rejected in the past - when the economic consequences were not as severe.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    At least they're arguing from strong principles, rather than "China is too big a country and too important in economic trade for us to boycott them", which seems to be what a lot of other people are saying.

    If only they would actually come out and say that....

    Generally, they say nothing of substance or change the subject, or harass the asking party.... because, like, you know, saying what you actually think might be inconvenient....

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 887 posts Report Reply

  • Eric Olthwaite,

    His opinions aside, I just find Bill Ralston unlistenable, he has a dose of the Bolgers. When he's raving away or doing a chummy interview his accent is a broad nasal kiwi, but when he's being serious it changes to well rounded vowels.

    Bloody infuriating.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    <quote>Dr Cullen did(later on) actually produce an article that backed his comment ( re Pol Pot).Keith Locke had supported the new regime. Admittedly it was written in 1975, but it was written by Keith Locke.</'quote>

    Sofie:

    That article has been doing the rounds for a very long time, and PAS readers should know me well enough to assume that if he was an apologist for the torture and murder of millions I'd be all over it.

    And does Dr. Cullen really think Locke should have had some kind of precognitive foresight. If you really want to go down that road, there were plenty in the Labour Party - and elsewhere - whose initial enthusiasm for 'Uncle Joe' Stalin is ever so slightly puke-making with 20/20 hindsight; and many on the left whose apologetics for the thug became positively indecent.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "IMO this election is going to be won or lost in the hip pockets not the heart and mind."

    That's sad because it should be won in the mind surely.Democracy should be more robust than that. The market shouldn't be the election, it should be up for discussion alongside many other societal factors."

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Fear not Jeremy, Labour have proved themselves masters of winning the hip pocket vote. It won them the last election, and they'll no doubt pull another winner/bribe out of the bag this election. This is not a dig at Labour, they only learnt while in opposition from what National also did. With the air seeping out of Key/National's party balloon I would not be surprised if Labour 'win' (albeit a narrow coalition, with the Greens, Anderton, Peters, and the Maori Party) in September.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    With the air seeping out of Key/National's party balloon...

    It's helium, thats why it sometimes sounds like Donald Duck talking.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4337 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Key did well with dodging the Roger Douglas bullet last night.

    Act on the otherhand - can they poll over 5%?
    And if not will an electorate back Rodney & his Party Pill Party?

    Could be an up set.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Key did well with dodging the Roger Douglas bullet last night.

    Act on the otherhand - can they poll over 5%?
    And if not will an electorate back Rodney & his Party Pill Party?

    Could be an up set.

    Dont think he dodged the Roger thing, He was pressured into making a statement after Duncan (from Tv3) harrangued Bill English regarding Nationals position and I suspect he had to comment.
    I do think Act is always going to get the same vote and will not be bothered too much about party pills but is it good timing to introduce Roger Douglas and party pills all in the same week for the Act brand? I could be wrong ,often told I am : )And yes, I do know they " know nothing about the pills"

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Sofie - Right or Wrong? How about a valid POV.

    Fair question by Duncan but playing himself as the caped crusader is as annoying as his forward hunch stance he takes to avoid (I presume) showing his double chin.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

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